Foreword by Frank KarstenIt might appear unreasonable or even insane to criticize democracy as strongly as we do in this book. After the fall of communism democracy was hailed as the right alternative. All over the world oppressed people are longing for more freedom and democracy, so who dares speak against it?
Although we firmly criticize democracy, there is little reason to be offended or alarmed. For we don’t want to withhold democracy from people; people should be free to live in whatever political system they want. We neither claim that democracy is worse or better than dictatorship or that the problems we describe in the book are exclusive to democracy.
However, we do explain the inherent problems of parliamentary democracy and we describe why the principles and dynamics of this highly praised political system do not lead to the desired results. Nowadays we can see the crises that have arisen in many democratic countries, most clearly in the United States, Greece, and Spain. These problems are never attributed to the democratic system itself, but instead to the free market, a lack of democracy, greedy bankers, or treacherous politicians.
“Every joke is a tiny revolution.”Like most people, I had faith in parliamentary democracy, too. But that was fifteen years ago. I actually knew very little about it but had strong beliefs anyhow. Like most of us, I was told — through the educational system, the media, and our politicians — that democracy was something to be cherished and proliferated, that there was no reasonable alternative. But after studying it and contemplating on it I have come to quite a different conclusion.
Many people still believe democracy equals freedom. And many freedom-loving individuals still believe the proper road to more freedom is through the democratic process. Many critics of democracy are convinced it needs fixing but find no problem with the fundamental democratic principles themselves. Our book refutes those notions. Democracy is the opposite of freedom — almost inherent to the democratic process is that it tends toward less liberty instead of more — and democracy is not something to be fixed. Democracy is a collectivist system and is inherently broken, just like socialism.
These contrarian ideas are quite unique, even on a world scale. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has written an academic book on it called Democracy: The God That Failed, and quite a few articles have been written on this subject. But as far as we knew there was no easy-to-read, structured, and concise book showing the inherent weaknesses and dynamics of democracy from a freedom-loving, libertarian perspective. Our book is for the average person. It couldn’t have come at a better time, now that many democracies struggle with social and economic problems and people are seeking explanations and solutions.
The solutions your democratic politicians constantly suggest consist of giving them more money and power, no matter how often they have failed.Possibly you are disappointed with your politicians and hope for better ones. This book explains why you need not blame them, but the democratic system itself. Instead of taking your politicians seriously, it’s better to mock them. It undermines their legitimacy and power. You see, the democratic system automatically breeds politicians who promise more than they can deliver, because the politicians who promise the most are the ones who get elected. So why blame them? And because democratic politicians know they will only be in power temporarily, they will overspend, overtax, and overborrow, knowing their successors (or, rather, future generations) will have to pay the bill. And besides, they spend other people’s money anyhow. So why expect otherwise? Would you behave better in Congress? I doubt it.
Ten years ago I was disappointed in politics and was often frustrated by it. I thought I needed to become politically active to change things for the better. Now I have come to realize I don’t need to do anything at all but to expose the flaws in the democratic system, make fun of politicians, and expect nothing good of them.
The famous author George Orwell once said, “Every joke is a tiny revolution.” Humor is indeed thought to be partly responsible for the fall of Soviet communism. It exposes the political absurdities and lowers the status of politicians. So, have a good laugh at your politicians; it’s much better for your health than getting frustrated. They are the emperors with no clothes: their promises are false and their solutions don’t work. The solutions your democratic politicians constantly suggest consist of giving them more money and power, no matter how often they have failed.
The insights into democracy that I have gained by writing on it have given me more peace of mind. Politics and politicians don’t frustrate me anymore. I share the ideas in this book in the hope that they will have the same effect on you.